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THE TRUTH ISSUE Issue 20 - Summer 2018



44 THE NIGHT EVA GOUEL’S WORLD TILTED Poem by Jo Burns Illustration by Sibel Ekemen

Poem by Adam Day



Poem by Leland James

Poem by Xe M. Sánchez



Poem by Jayne Stanton Illustration by Bren Luke

Poem by Ross Thompson

24 THE ISLAND Poem by Ruth Steadman Illustration by Cody Muir

29 OUR PILLAR Poem by Jaydn DeWald

60 REGRET Poem by David Romanda Illustration by Joseph Crisp

74 TURNING POINT Poem by Jane Frank Illustration by Alexandra España

)*+,-#)./0.12 14 ADULTHOOD Flash fiction by Oindrila Gupta Illustration by Stefan Große Halbuer

23 POST-TRUTH Flash fiction by Ben Normanton

26 DEAR LATE 1980S TEEN Flash fiction by Teresa Stenson Illustration by Silvia Stecher

30 ARTISTS OF A FADING WORLD Flash fiction by Ben Okri Illustration by Rosemary Clunie

43 VARIETIES OF TRUTH Flash fiction by Bruce Louis Dodson

68 THE 1:43 TO VICTORIA Flash fiction by Sophie Watson Illustration by María Castelló Solbes

69 THE TIDAL MAN Flash fiction by Anna Ghislena Illustration by Vector That Fox

!"#$%&!%#$'() 6 CULTIVATE Short story by Sophie Lay Illustration by Daria Kirpach

16 RAG DOLL Short story by Nick Athanasiou Illustration by Zach Meyer

32 ABSTRACT IMPRESSIONS Short story by Patrick Warner Illustration by Jude Labuca

36 TOWNS LIKE OURS Short story by William Hillier Illustration by Alexandru Savescu

46 METUBE Short story by D. A. Hosek Illustration by Jan Siemen

54 RESTING Short story by Cathy Cullis Illustration by Sara Gironi Carnevale

62 JUDE Short story by Ian Inglis Illustration by Junghyeon Kwon

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TRU T H | Illu stration by Mar ta Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;A saro

THE ISLAND Poem by R uth Steadman Illu stration by Cody Muir

Before you died you told me I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want you to ever be lonely. I remember that day you rowed our family across to the island. I remember the picnic and how we were hit by a storm so heavy you were forced to carry us each back in turns. You took me first.

I remember the two of us alone in that boat, the oars small comfort against the waves. I recall wanting to talk â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how I knew that this was when I should say

everything important. But we remained mute to the shrieking gulls so afraid of ourselves. I recall how you left me to go back for the others, your slim back shrinking against the swell.

You were gone for hours. I remember the wet waiting, pacing the length of my shore. I recall just how it felt to know Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d survived â&#x20AC;&#x201C; my throat hot and silting under emptying skies.

TOWNS LIKE OUR S Shor t stor y by William Hillier Illu stration by Ale xandr u Savesc u

After the factory shut its doors, our town ticked by, in the way towns like ours do; tossed aside in favour of something new, something modern, something more suited to the times. Our rural life was a dying kind. The cogs that kept nearby villages going had long stiffened to a stop. Big cities, office jobs, chain restaurants, shopping arcades built like basilicas – these were in vogue now. Mercy alone had allowed our town to survive this far. The first injection of life never came before May Day, when visitors appeared city-weary, eager for Mother Nature’s restorative balm. But visitors were blindly unaware of the fact we were present all year round, whether they came or not. In shiny coats, impractical shoes, they sampled our scones, sipped our ciders, took postcard-perfect snaps of the wheat fields nearby and remarked: ‘Isn’t it charming!’ In return we offered crocodile smiles, chattered away as they wished us to and finally felt that our lives had meaning. The day it happened, we were all taken by surprise. Of course, I joined in the horror, exchanging worried shots with my fellow townsfolk. ‘Who is it?’ hushed whispers rippled. ‘Who goes there?’ For everybody knew everybody in our backwater spot. On the roof of the abandoned factory, a man paced, completely naked. A quiver of blubber, presented on a pedestal not quite high enough to make a god of him. The sun glared behind him in a blinding halo of light. A black diamond, the man flared violently at the edges. Passers-by paused.

THE TIDAL MAN Fla sh fic tion by Anna Ghisle na Illu stration by Vec tor That Fox


There was life, it seemed, in the estuary; the flats blistered bubbles that rose and burst like gasps, brackish pools guarded poking razor clams and whispering whelks, gulls paddled respectfully around a lumpy porpoise. I shielded my eyes, tapped a stone in time with their cries and saw the lumpy porpoise nudged by the rising tide like the wrung and twisted estuary birds afloat by fruitless oyster beds or upturned silver bellied fish staring at rusting trawler hulls. Men lamented and called it a monster, their rage and blame lay with it. Some claimed to have seen the thing and named it Reaper of the Seas, or, The Tidal Man. I waited and watched, tapped a stone upon another, listened beyond crying gulls and reluctant waters, listened watched and waited for the roar of The Tidal Man because monsters roar and scream as men believe they can. An inky horizon swallowed the day. Home awaited my bucket of clams with a fury fuelled by fears and another empty table. My footsteps dragged, rolling brine tagged my heel; these shoes would be wet again. A hollow vessel hauled in slowly, it creaked and crunched upon the shore. I faltered; toppled. Something held my ankles fast. Shingle pits sunk my feet, struggling whirlpools swept me down, and soaked in foamy wash I prayed, beneath salty cascades and translucent gaze, of the monster men called The Tidal Man. Ankles shook free, my courage came angry, Our waters have gone quiet, our rivers choked and clogged.


Popshot is a beautifully illustrated magazine showcasing imaginative short stories, flash fiction and poetry by new writers. From the pavement to the pubs to the playhouses, our peculiar little planet is full of storytelling. Popshot features the most sharply observed versions of these stories, enhanced by contemporary illustrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s freshest talents. ÂŁ6 ISSN

SUMMER 2018 2041-4382

9 772041 438005


Popshot issue 20 Sample – The Truth Issue  

Our twentieth issue features a delight of short stories, flash fiction and poetry exploring truth and half-truths, lies and revelations, acc...

Popshot issue 20 Sample – The Truth Issue  

Our twentieth issue features a delight of short stories, flash fiction and poetry exploring truth and half-truths, lies and revelations, acc...